Saint Corentin of Kemper

Looking for a patron saint? My personal favorite saint’s name: Corentin.

  • Nobody can pronounce: Check.
  • Obscure as heck: Check.
  • Invented “Catch, fillet, and release” fishing: Check.
  • Probability you can use this as your username on every system everywhere and it won’t be taken: 100%.
  • Chance of your mom ever, ever calling you by this name: Nil.

Saint Corentin of Kemper

Saint Corentin (Corentinus in Latin), also called Kaouritin or Kaour, was according to tradition the first bishop of Kemper. He is one of the seven founding saints of mainland Brittany. The city of Kemper is a step in the medieval pilgrimage of the seven saints of mainland Britain called Tro Breizh (tour of Brittany). He is commemorated on December 12.

His life is told in the Vita of St. Corentin written about 1220-1235. According to Albert the Great, St. Corentin was born around 375 in the Armorican kingdom of Cornwall. He became a hermit in Plomodiern at the foot of Menez-Hom, where his piety was already known through miracles.

Besides his diet of wild herbs and roots, tradition describes a fish which the saint caught daily, from which he cut a piece to eat; as he threw the fish back into the stream, each time it became whole again. Corentin would have fed King Gradlon a piece of this fish on the day when, having become lost during a hunt, he arrived hungry at his hermitage.

When King Gradlon decided to establish the Diocese of Kemper, he called for Corentin to become its first bishop. He sent Corentin to Tours to be consecrated bishop by the future Saint Martin.

Saint Guénolé, founder of the Abbey of Landévennec and St. Tudy were his contemporaries and followers. Saint Corentin died on December 12, 401, and was buried before the altar of the Cathedral of Kemper.

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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